Tag Archives: movie

Nemesis, or “How to become a Superhero”

I found this posted over at Has Boobs, Reads Comics.  It’s a pretty fantastic short movie about two arch-enemies/friends who work both with and against each other in an attempt to discover their superpowers.  It is very Heroes-esque, and even has the main character watching Heroes at one point.  It’s got subtitles, which I personally like.  Having grown up overseas, they are something of a comfort item to me I think.  I generally put subtitles on what I watch anyway, or maybe I’m just going deaf… who knows.  Enjoy!

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Reasons to Dislike the Watchmen

As I mentioned in my post yesterday, I noticed the first time I saw watchmen (the second time I went during work/school hours, and it was empty, something Scott Kurtz might have preferred), quite a few people got up and left.  I’ve been mulling over in my mind not just the obvious “I didn’t like the attempted rape scene,” because any two-bit pundit can do that, but delving deeper into the reasons why some were so appalled by the film that they chose to leave.  So dedicated am I to providing absolute top quality blogging that I have done the unfathomable, I have come up with reasons to dislike the watchmen…

All verbosity and showmanship aside, the question of why people were so affronted or bored by The Watchmen that they decided that they would burn the $10.75 they spent, rather than sit through the rest of the movie is a topic worth addressing.  I mean, c’mon, less people walked out of Batman and Robin than the Watchmen from what I saw!  The first, and most obvious reason that people may have been offended is simply that we as a population are pretty desensitized to seeing breasts, or even full frontal nudity on women.  This movie had penises, and lots of them at that however, none were real though, I don’t think so anyway, most looked CGI or prosthetic.  Pretty immediately you are exposed to Dr. Manhattan, who lives and works in the nude, and let’s be honest, nude men are not all that photogenic.

Moving swiftly and gracefully away from male nudity (or at least, I am, you may linger if you so choose), we move onto the fact that the Watchmen deals with a whole host of generally uncomfortable, or generally avoided topics, such as child murder, more realistic violence, and rape.  Herein lies the true core of why many viewers were shocked by the Watchmen.  The movie-going population has become used to the idea of a superhero movie, we are getting inundated with them recently, and most are fun action movies with some corny one-liners that are really typical of 80’s-90’s authors.  This was an Alan Moore comic turned movie, and a faithful one at that, not V for Vendetta.  This was written as a progressive “in your face” novel.  We are used to bones breaking in movies, but they’re always in a jacket, or the skin doesn’t break.  I’ve got news for you, that’s not how it works.  I have heard many complaints about the scene between the Comedian and Jupiter, about how it was too much, or not appropriate for the movies.  My response to this has been to remind them that this is a rated R movie, and for good reason.  If you’re going to see a movie, and you’re unsure about it, the best course of action is to look a little bit into the subject material first.  A few chapters into Watchmen, and you’ll soon find that it’s not your average superhero flick.

Another general quality of the modern super hero movie is that feeling inside you that in the end, the good guy won.  Today’s culture does not seem to appreciate the old style of film noir.  And the Watchmen goes even one step further beyond that, the Watchmen is ambiguous, it’s not even a cliffhanger.  Nobody has any idea if Rorschach’s journal does get published, or if anyone believes a word of it, it IS Rorschach after all.  Even beyond this notion lies the uncertainty about if the ‘villain’ was evil or not, or even if Rorschach was ‘good.’  Make no mistake, this is intentional, beyond the plot, subplot, and everything else, it is by firm believe that Alam Moore wrote the Watchmen to make his readers question what they saw, to make them think and reach beyond their comfort zone, something we should all try to do from time to time.  In this he was successful.

There is a line in the book, as well as the film, in which a news reporter states that “God exists, and he is American,” he then goes on to say that if this makes you a little uncomfortable, then you should not worry “it only means that you are still sane.”  The same can be applied to the Watchmen.  If the scenes of graphic violence, attempted rape, and child murder made you even slightly uncomfortable, you should know that it’s ok, it means you are still rational.

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Watching the Watchmen

Let me start by saying that the Watchmen was absolutely fantastic, not as amazing or indepth as the novel, but it’s pretty damn close.  I have spoken to many people who saw it and had not read the novel, and I received two distinct points of view.  Either they liked it because of the action, or did not like it due to its graphic nature.  This is something that will be interesting to talk about in the near future, comic book movies have become so closely associated with X-Men and Spider-man that people figured that Watchmen would be another feel good movie.  Sorry guys.  Before I talk about what others did not like about it though, let me tell you about why I felt it was the best movie I have seen in a long long time.

First off, the casting was phenomenal.  I think that directors of comic based movies have learned that comic enthusiasts appreciate more than others that the actors physically resemble their heroes.  This translates into acquiring sometimes less famous actors to play the parts of lead roles.  Just look at Jackie Earle Haley, he did nothing between 1993 and 2006, unless you count working as a security guard, limo driver, or pizza delivery guy.  But he was the best goddamn Rorschach anyone could have hoped for!  Another fine example outside of watchmen, was Patrick Stewart as Professor X, I can not think of anyone more ideal for that role.  Do you have any other examples of good or bad casting for comic book movies?  Leave a comment and let me know, or shoot me a message on Twitter.

On the subject of Jackie Earle Haley, his fit for the role goes beyond merely looking like Rorschach.  That guy can act.  He wasn’t hiding behind the mask at all.  I’ve never had to beg for death, and I’m pretty sure he hasn’t either, but man could he do it, and it was probably one of the most powerful scenes in the movie.  However, another reason he was good for the part was his martial arts experience.  This segues nicely into the fight choreography, which was also amazing.  As someone who has a fair amount of experience (in fighting, not choreography), the fight scenes were pretty outstanding.  If you couldn’t tell, I have almost nothing but praise for Watchmen.

Any ciritism I do have is minor, such as, the director couldn’t seem to decide if Rorschach called his mask his face or his mask.  He refers to it twice, and one he calls it his face, the other his mask.  I am someone who appreciates above all other things, faithfulness to source material.  I prefer the first Lord of the Rings movie to the other two because it is most faithful to the books.  All in all, I would recommend Watchmen to any comic book fan, it is two hours and fourty three minutes of awesome.

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The Polar Express

With my new found super-power of mobile blogging, I would like to take this opportunity to talk about something non-comic book related. Actually, I seem to be doing a lot of that this week. The other day I saw the Polar Express, and I’m not sure if I liked it. It wasn’t a bad story, but at the same time it made me a little uncomfortable. The deal with the grammophone kinds creeped me out.
Has anyone else seen The Polar Express? If so, what did you you think?

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Review: Wolverine: Origins #23

No, this isn’t the correct cover at all, my usual method of getting the cover art is not working this time.

 

Lead-up to the Story

Well, not too much really. Part one started with Deadpool trying to kill Wolverine, probably because he was hired to. I think that’s it; the last two issues have been pure fighting pretty much, it seems like this is probably premeditated because Deadpool, at times, seems to have a plan. He did drop a piano on Wolverine though, and called him a Canucklehead; that should be all the leadup you need, right? This is Deadpool, it’s not supposed to make sense!

 

Plot Synopsis

Wolverine: Origins is written by Daniel Way. Very similar to the lead-up information I gave, this comic is about a fight between Deadpool and Wolverine, complete with Deadpool’s inner monologue, which seems to contain two voices. This multiple personality deal is unexplained, but humerous none the less. The fight itself was eagerly anticipated, because the only other time they met, as far as I know was in the Cable & Deadpool issue entitled “Wolverine & Deadpool,” in which the fight lasted all of…. one panel. Wade Wilson got decapitated, and well, that was it. In this issue, Wilson struggles to fend off the formidable Wolverine, while simultaneously dealing with the very minor problem of having his fingers removed. There is an odd scene in which we see someone walking into a room with a captain America costume lying on the bed, and then Wolverine gets hit with an explosion, something that he seems to deal with a lot. This brings up two problems for this reader. The first of which is that Wolverine’s healing factor seems to have skyrocketed in effectiveness recently, possibly due to the way it was portrayed in the movies. Secondly, it was a freaking explosion! That should do more than the slight cosmetic damage we’re shown, I know his healing factor has been put into overdrive for no known reason recently, but there should be more damage than that! The comic ends with both of them inflicting mortal wounds upon each other, and ending in a somewhat homoerotic pose, ‘dying’ in each other’s arms.

 

Art Critique

The artist for Wolverine: Origins is Steve Dillon, an accomplished artist who is well known for his work on Preacher and Hellblazer. Unfortunately, he just can’t seem to get Wolverine’s face right. It is apparent from the first few pages that there is something distinctly wrong about him. Most of the problem is in the eyes I think, or at least that’s where the problem starts. Wolverine is a damaged goods; he’s insane, he’s also calculating and methodical (they even address that in this issue), but he just doesn’t look it. He just either ends up looking happy, surprised, or constipated. This is all very unfortunate, and I am putting down Steve Dillon a lot, but be sure to understand, I do not dislike his art, everything else is very good, he just doesn’t seem to have gotten Wolverine’s face correct enough for me.

 

Is it Worth Buying?

If you have ever wanted to see the showdown between Wolverine and Deadpool, this, and the two issues before it, are worth purchasing, but otherwise, I would say “not really.” Nothing in this run of Origins really strikes me as fantastic, however, the under-par artwork is saved by Daniel Way’s incredibly good grasp on how Deadpool should be written, it’s funny, there’s a joke in the middle of a fight (which I stole and retold yesterday), and Deadpool is flinging around half-formed insults like it’s his…. Well, it kind of is his job, isn’t it?

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Top 8 Most Cringeworthy Moments in Comic Book Movie History

I had a post I had planned to write up, but once again, I got side tracked, and put in awe/despair by this.  Published on Cracked.com, “America’s Only Humor and Video Site, Since 1959.”

Some of it is right on the money, such as how Batman and Robin was a godawful movie.  But I can live with that, I like batman, and I watch it as a comedy.  Some things I didn’t agree with were the ones in the beginning.  Such as the “I’m the Juggernaut, bitch” line in X-Men 3.  He shows the youtube video which this line was based off of, and frankly, as someone who found that video to be pretty funny (for the first few minutes, then it just dragged out), I thought the Juggernaut’s line in the movie was a hilarious nod to fans.  Despite that, he calls this single line the reason the third X-Men movie was terrible.  No.  Nono, I can think of loads of reasons that the movie was terrible, some nit-picky, such as spike being white, or Colossus not being American, to larger problems, some sub-par acting and the speed of Wolverine’s healing factor (which wasn’t such a big deal, until it rendered him invulnerable to Phoenix’s attempts to flay him).

Another statement that stood out in my mind was that dance scene in FF4:ROTSS, coming in at #5 on the list, the author brings up the point of “how come his suit can stretch too?”  Well, probably because he’s a freaking super genius and not only designed it that way, but he designed it that way because maybe some evil villain would attack, and he wouldn’t have time to change into his Fantastic uniform.  If I were to criticize this moment in movie history, I’d have rather brought up that Reed Richards is a socially awkward science kid, and he would have no clue how to dance at all.  I’ve seen science kids dance, I worked at science camp… it’s true.

In addition, when Superman turned back time made the list, which I guess I can understand, but really, that moment is kinda classic at this point, and given when the movie was made, it would be much easier for them to do that than whatever else modern writers/directors would come up with to get Lois out of that situation.  I think what I’m saying is that I don’t disagree with most of the list (the Juggernaut line and Superman turning back time aside) but more of how he attacked it.  By that same token, the car-explosion created skull in the Punisher movie doesn’t merit a #4 spot.  Also, there was no mention of “Spider-man and Hobgoblin team up to fight Venom and Sandman” two stupidly mismatched pairs.  I did find the reference to “Spider-man is a Jazz Loving Lesbian” because at least at that point in the list, somebody other than myself would be offended.  All in all, I found the list to by mildly entertaining, and a semi-worthwhile distraction for the last few minutes.  I would like to compliment the author however, on his thorough explanations, and that he posted all the scenes he was referencing via youtube.

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The Dark Knight Trailer

            Now I have been promising my response to this trailer for a little while now, and here it is.  The Dark Knight trailer is very fast paced, and shows you a lot of action, while keeping much of the movie itself secret.  It shows us a few key characters, Bruce Wayne, aka Batman, the Joker, Alfred, and Lucius Fox.  Much of this is very intriguing, because of how much is kept secret in this preview, but we can probably assume the Joker is out for money.  This cast of characters is pretty amazing, and many of them are played by returning actors.

            Christian Bale is returning as Batman, this is both good and bad in my opinion.  I feel that he makes a fantastic Bruce Wayne, I also feel that while he makes a fairly good Batman, there are two aspects that I can not forgive.  Let me expand on this idea, Batman has a very iconic physique/silhouette.  Christian Bale’s face really just doesn’t fit in the batman mask.  He also has this weird voice that he’s given Batman that I’m not very fond of.

            Michael Caine however, is possibly my favourite Alfred ever.  He’s a very upstanding and witty butler.  Michael Caine is a very qualified actor that can perform in a vast number of roles; he was also Jasper in Children of Men, another role that he played perfectly.  I really can’t say enough good things about him.

            The Joker is played by Heath Ledger.  It is his first time in a Batman film, and it is quite a departure from roles he has played in the past (think 10 Things I Hate About You, that’s right, that was him).  He really captures the darker persona that they are giving the Joker in this film; Heath Ledger really makes the Joker creepy.

            Finally we come to Lucius Fox, who is again played by Morgan Freeman.  Honestly?  He’s Morgan Freeman!  I watched Chain Reaction solely because he was in it (a decision I would not recommend to anyone else, it was a terrible movie).  

 

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